DESPITE rainy conditions Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby take on Rossendale on the Underley Park pitch for this re-arranged fixture.

The club welcomed back second row Leandro Kwiczor for his first game of the season.

Whilst this was another defeat for Kirkby’s young squad the game was much closer than the score suggests as players newly promoted to the 1stXV begin to find their feet at this level which, for those who may not know, is the Northern Premiership Level 5 in the RFU league structure and opposition is very strong.

 Dale kicked off towards the Town and applied the early pressure but it was Kirkby who put the first points on the board when a penalty from skipper Ben Walker made it 3 – 0 after four minutes.

Ten minutes later Dale hit back with a converted try to take the lead at 3 – 7 but it was Walker again who regained the lead for Kirkby with an unconverted try to edge the home side back in front at 8 – 7 with only fifteen minutes played.

The game raged on as it moved into the second quarter with Dale retaking the lead through an unconverted try to go 8 – 12 up and as the half drew to a close extended this with a penalty to lead 8 – 15.

This one score margin would have been a reasonable score line to end an evenly contested half but deep into injury time Dale floated a kick to their right wing who was able to run round and score behind the posts, the conversion being the last kick of the half with the score at 8 – 22.

However, credit to Kirkby who tackled everything that moved as the second half began pinning Dale back in their own territory for most of the third quarter but the visitors defence held.

Kirkby couldn’t advance their score and it was Dale, behind an increasingly dominant pack, who scored a converted try after twenty-five minutes of the half to extend their lead to 8 – 29.

Five minutes later Dale pressure at the scrum created their next score when they drove a succession of scrums close to the Kirkby line, the ref ultimately rewarding them with a penalty try to put the game beyond reach at 8 – 36.

The game may have been beyond reach but Kirkby took it to the visitors and after several phases of possession in Dale’s twenty-two spun it wide right where young winger Will Brown scored a good try in the corner, the conversion was just wide but some pride had been restored at 13 – 36. As with the first half Dale took advantage of a long period of injury time in the second half to have the final say with an unconverted try to end it at 13 – 41.

Elsewhere Kirkby Colts the emerging new generation are worth a mention, unbeaten and topping their league with notable victories over big names like Fylde, Preston Grasshoppers and Sale.